RIP: Unknown Search Terms

What a week, huh? Kray up here in tha DC, y’all, what with the government shutdown and all the crazy effects of that — veterans storming World War II memorials, DC metro saying it will run fewer train cars, and, worst of all, no panda cam at the National Zoo. Then there was that whole crazy car chase/shooting business yesterday.

How can you be so cruel, Congress?
How can you be so cruel, Congress?

All of that (plus the end of “Breaking Bad” — sooooo good; and total work insanity), has distracted us from a true travesty: the end of unknown search terms.

You see, one of the greatest and most amusing features of WordPress was a feature that rounded up terms used in search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing, that somehow led people to your blog. For example, someone found my blog recently by searching for “grand theft auto widow.”

Anyway, this list of search terms brought me a ton of pleasure and laughs. Whenever I found a particularly weird search term, I would post it on Facebook or Twitter as a Totally Random Search Term that Brought Someone to thePoelog, also known as TRSTBS for short. And I would speculate exactly what kind of person would have been searching for that term. Here’s an example from September 11: Totally random search term that brought someone to thePoeLog “rat on a treadmill videos.” Welcome, Pied Piper in training.

Sadly, the search term feature is being relocated to a nice family farm out in the country, never to be heard from again. Here’s what WordPress says:

In September 2013 Google started to rapidly expand the number of searches that it encrypts, which results in a higher proportion of “Unknown search terms” in your stats.  According to some sources, this expansion will eventually result in encryption of all Google searches.  This is being done for privacy reasons by Google when someone searches at Google.com, before a visitor arrives at your WordPress.com site.  Therefore we don’t have any way to unhide the search terms.  We recognize this means a loss of stats information for you and we will look for other ways to show you how users arrived at your site.

Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/google-encrypting-all-searches-nj
Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/google-encrypting-all-searches-nj

Damn you Google! And Edward Snowden! And NSA, who really, when you think about it, started this whole nonsense to begin with. Listen, I got nothing to hide. If NSA wants to look at pictures of my chubby cat and whatever deliciousness XFE has made us for dinner, knock yourselves out. I live my life loud and proud.

However, other people do not really feel the same way I do and like their privacy to remain intact. But now, NSA, you’ve gone and made everyone all wild-eyed and outraged and who pays the price? Cultural observers such as myself who get a snicker out of people finding my blog while searching for “Kate Middleton porno.” (Can’t you just imagine their disappointment?)

kate compares

So far, however, I do have a list of the last month’s search terms that I’ve copied and saved. So, I thought we’d have a little Irish wake here, pour some wine (one for me and one for my fallen homies) and do a little Q&A using a small sampling of those last Totally Random Search Terms that Brought Someone to thePoeLog.

What to pack for doomsday — This is a very good question. Also, quite philosophical. On the one hand, does it really matter? After all, it’s doomsday. But, maybe our erstwhile searcher is an optimist and expects to survive and carry on the human species, perhaps with the assistance of one mighty fine Matthew McConaughey, for example. In that case, you might want to pack something lingerie, a nice sturdy box of wine, a sleeping bag, and a gun. The gun, mind you, isn’t to use on Matthew. It’s to protect Matthew from other the clutches of other lady survivors.

matthewut

How to get in touch with duck dynasty — Well, shouldn’t be too hard. West Monroe is a pretty small place. Population is only 13,000. I think if you hung around the Circle K long enough, you’re bound to run into one of those long-bearded fellas. Or, you could probably start going to their church. Or just stop by Duck Commander headquarters. They say on their website that, “We would be HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY for you to come by and say “HEY”.  You can even pay them to hang out with you, according to the website: for information on booking the Duckmen please visit WME Speakers at ducks@wmeentertainment.com

Is hilary from love it or list it pregnant — I haven’t been watching it lately (we’ve got three episodes hanging out on the DVR), so I don’t really know. But (and no offense here), she seems a bit old to be starting a family. I would guess the answer to this question would probably be no. Now Desta on the other hand, I believe she’s fairly recently married, so that would make sense. And if Hilary is pregnant, congratulations and good luck.

When is gold rush coming back on discovery channel — The Hoffman Knucklehead Crue are back on Discovery Channel on October 25. According to this blog: “In season four of GOLD RUSH, Todd Hoffman puts his life on the line, and asks his crew to do the same, braving malaria, poisonous snakes and quicksand to set up a mining operation in a patch of hostile jungle deep in Guyana, South America.” We saw a few preview episodes on Discovery a few months back, and it looks like plenty of bad decisions ahead.

Can you get brain eating amoebas feom bath water — I believe that should be “from” and my guess is yes. Brain eating amoebas are everywhere and we should all be afraid of them. Best to just take showers whilst holding your breath. But you might want to have a chair in the shower. If you pass out from holding your breath, amoeba-carrying water will definitely get up your nose and eat your brain.

Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.
Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.

When men reading shades of grey — I’m not familiar with the book “Shades of Grey,” so I’m guessing you mean “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Also, this query seems to be missing some very important connecting words here, which changes the possible answers a bit. If you are asking “When do you find men reading fifty shades of grey,” then the answer is most likely when they think they won’t be caught, so maybe when they’re in the tub enjoying a nice bubble bath? If your question is, “what to do when men [are?] reading fifty shades of grey,” my advice is to avert your eyes and calmly and slowly walk away without drawing attention to the awkward situation. The obvious caveat here is that no man should be reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Even Matthew McConaughey.

I feel nervous about an upcoming trip — Totally understandable. Travel can be exciting but scary. After all, a lot of things can happen — the plane might crash, your luggage might get lost, the car rental place might be closed, the hotel might have lost your reservation, the roads might be blocked by protesting fishermen, you might eat bad salami and be violently ill for 10 days in one of the world’s great gourmet regions. Or, you might get a brain eating amoeba from taking a bath while reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.
That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.

But, it’s all worth it because travel provides you with an opportunity to brag about all the great places you’ve been and all the great things you’ve seen on your very own blog. See? Don’t you feel better already?

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Great. Something Else to Worry About.

So far this summer, three people have died from a waterborne brain-eating amoeba, including a nine-year-old kid in Virginia.

Wait. I live in Virginia. I am sometimes submerged in water. True, we have not gone tubing this summer or been in any type of outdoor body of water, but sometimes I get water up my nose when I take a bath. (Aaah, I love baths. I wish I were in one now. Laced with some Jo Malone bath oil. Preferably the jasmine mint.)

Uh, where was I? Oh yes. Potential untimely death. Which I tend to think about a lot. (Honestly, is there a “timely” death? I suppose if you live to be 110 then people will grudgingly concede, “Yep. That seems timely.”)

And don’t sit there and shake your head and say you can’t get a brain-eating amoeba from a bath. One of the three cases involved a Louisiana man who used tap water in his neti pot. For those not in the know, a neti pot is some device shaped like a teapot that folks (mostly hippies, in my experience) use to rinse out their noses with warm salt water. It’s supposed to relieve allergies, colds, other sinus problems. Sounds pretty gross to me. Hot water? Up your nose? And then snot does what? Just dribbles out with the water? No thanks. You know what also supposedly works on allergies? Prescription meds! Let’s give those a try first, shall we? Before putting items and amoebas up our noses?

This amoeba even has a sinister-sounding name. Naegleria fowleri. It’s “fowleri” all right.

I did not draw this. Just so you know.

Here’s a description of how it essentially, eats your brain.

“Like something out of a horror movie, the amoeba enters the human body through the nose, usually after a person has swum or dived into a warm body of fresh water, such as a pond, lake, river or hot spring.

It does not seek out humans. But when an amoeba gets lodged into a person’s nose, it starts looking for food. It ends up in the brain and starts eating neurons.

Early symptoms of infection include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and neck stiffness. Later symptoms progress to confusion, balance problems and seizures. Often, when cases are presented at the hospital, they’re mistaken for bacterial meningitis. Death usually occurs within a week of symptom onset.”

Holy Depends undergarments, I just crapped my pants. I need my brain neurons! But I fear it might be too late. I might have some variant of all these symptoms. I get headaches! My neck is feeling very stiff these days. I’m often confused…..wait, what was I saying? And I have balance problems!  

But before you panic, remember that infections with the amoeba, while tragic, are extremely uncommon. There are usually only two or three cases a year in the U.S.”

Oh, and THAT’S supposed to make me feel better is it? So the quota for the year is full, don’t worry Poe!?! Is that it?

And I loooove this part: “But before you panic….” IT’S TOO LATE! I’m in full panic mode right this minute!!

Maybe I should go take a nice relaxing bath.